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Fairway on the Felt: Poker in Las Vegas

04.04.2012     02:25 PM         Printer Friendly
Submitted by blog entry.
I’ve been playing profitable poker for years, and with more recent success, I may write and post more on poker. I’ve had to limit my poker coverage due to various commitments along with sports handicapping, but after playing in recent months some of the stories and follies from the felt may have to be brought forward. As you can image, there is often plenty of sports betting talk at the poker table, as poker player’s talk about the games and betting lines. Yet much of the poor reasoning and thought processes of the recreational sports bettor is also found in poor play and decisions at the poker table.

Living in Las Vegas affords us great opportunities to play poker, and for those with patience, discipline and a solid understanding of the ‘fundamentals’ of poker play, there can be plenty of profit and reward.  As I’ve mentioned in the past, there is a strong correlation between sports bettors and poker players. I’ve played and covered events at the Palms in Las Vegas, and they will soon have a new poker room and sports book run by Cantor Gaming. Note recent comments from the new Palms Hotel President, “We wanted the Read more

Tags: __ Poker Las Vegas

MLB Gambling News and Notes: Opening Day success

04.04.2012     11:58 AM         Printer Friendly
Submitted by blog entry.
The full schedule of opening day games begins tomorrow and no surprise that last year’s top teams are showing a favorite betting bias. Last year’s division winners were the New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies, Milwaukee Brewers and Arizona Diamondbacks. All division winners finished with at least 94 wins in the regular season, which is a .580 winning percentage or better.

The Yankees and Phillies were the two teams that finished with at least a .600 winning percentage. However, in Spring Training 2012, only the Yankees and Tigers had a winning record. Does spring training success carry over to positive regular season results?

Here’s some historical data for teams that won at least 60% of their spring training games the past six years. Of those 39 teams that accomplished that level of spring training success, only 15 of those teams went on to make the playoffs. However, those 39 teams still averaged nearly 90 wins, so a winning season is still a positive projection. This year’s top spring training Read more

Tags: MLB __

NCAA Tournmanet Betting: Final Four Against the Spread Notes

03.27.2012     06:37 AM         Printer Friendly
Submitted by blog entry.
The Final Four in New Orleans is set as no. 1 seed Kentucky, no. 2 Ohio State, no. 2 Kansas and no. 4 Louisville light up the Superdome. The Elite Eight had some super finishes and tight contests with three of the four games landing within five points of the poinspread.  The Kansas–North Carolina game had a one-point margin with 3+ minutes to go before the Jayhawks finished the game on a 12-0 run to pull away for the win.

The Sweet Sixteen also had many close contests with all four games last Friday landing within five points of the pointspread. Of the 12 games last week, eight landed within five points of the line. During the course of the college basketball season, 40% of all games landed within five points of the betting line, so you can see how tight the numbers are as the tournament progresses.

With that said, here are some Final Four Against-the-Spread (ATS) notes. Since 1998, the better seeded team is 21-8 SU and 22-7 ATS. Teams seeded no. 4 or worse are 1-10 SU and 2-9 ATS if they are playing a better seeded team. Top-seeded no. 1 teams taking on a worse seed are 15-4 SU and 14-5 ATS the past 14 years including 11-3 ATS if favored by -8 or Read more

Tags: College Basketball Kentucky Wildcats Kansas Jayhawks Ohio State Buckeyes Louisville Cardinals __

CIT Semifinal Betting Preview: Oakland Grizzlies at Utah State Aggies

03.25.2012     10:37 AM         Printer Friendly
Submitted by blog entry.
Oakland at Utah State -5 O/U 150

We’re off a 3-0 college basketball sweep Saturday and we’ll fire at the tournament on Sunday. Utah State (20-15) hosts high-scoring Oakland (20-15) in semifinal action. The Aggies have won all three of their home games in CIT action and head coach Stew Morrill is one of the best; especially at the Spectrum in Logan, Utah. The Aggies are 16-4 on their home court this season and 67-5 the past four regular seasons. And in the favorite role up to -13, Utah State has covered over 60% of its last 110 games at home.

Big contrast in styles and the Aggies will face a tough challenge slowing down the nation’s leading scorer, Oakland guard Reggie Hamilton (26 ppg). The high-scoring Grizzlies push the pace and launch the three-balls while scoring over 79 ppg. Hamilton is the key as his dribble-drives create plenty of scoring for himself and teammates and he also hits 42% from the arch and 88% from Read more

Tags: College Basketball Oakland Grizzlies Utah State Aggies __

NIT Handicapping: Against the Spread News and Notes 3-20-2012

03.20.2012     11:36 AM         Printer Friendly
Submitted by blog entry.
A pair of NIT games on ESPN tonight and here are some news and notes regarding the teams and match-ups.

UMass at Drexel -8 O/U 141
Defensive dominator Drexel Dragons are 15-0 at home this season under head coach Bruiser Flint, who coached UMass 11 years ago. He has his best Drexel team and most wins ever as a college coach (29-6). The Dragons have outstanding guard play and a dominating defense that allows just 55 ppg on 39% shooting including 29% from the arch. But UMass (24-11) is on fire with a pair of upsets over higher seeds and they will push the ball and pressure full court. The Minutemen average 77 ppg and have a size and strength advantage in the interior. Contrast in styles for two teams having their best seasons under current coaches with the winner advancing to NIT semi-finals at Madison Square Garden.

Oregon at Washington -5 O/U 155
Third meeting this season for PAC-12 rivals with both teams winning big on their home court. Washington (23-10) is 14-2 at home this season and 64-6 at Bank of American Arena the last 4+ years. But Oregon (24-9) is playing its best ball under first-year coach Dana Altman. The Read more

Tags: College Basketball UMass Minutemen Drexel Dragons Oregon Ducks Washington Huskies __

NCAA Tournament Free Pick: Saint Louis Billikens vs. Michigan State Spartans

03.18.2012     10:51 AM         Printer Friendly
Submitted by blog entry.
Saint Louis +7.5 vs. Michigan State O/U 124
Recommendation: Saint Louis

Michigan State is top-tier team, but I believe they are in for a tough one today. Their superior defense can be matched by a Saint Louis stop unit that requires patience, precision passing and careful ball handling. Lower-scoring game expected with Michigan State allowing just 59 ppg on 38% shooting and 29% from the three-point line.  The Billikens allowed just 59 ppg in A-10 play and after watching our outright underdog winner on SLU over red-hot Memphis you have to be impressed with their ability to dictate tempo and play defense. Saint Louis holds opponents to a low offensive rebounding rate (28%) which is a great match-up against the Spartans’ strength on the boards. Point guard Kwamain Mitchell gives them a premier floor leader, ball handler and passer who can score. Add in some solid outside shooters to a tough team and the Billikens are capable of taking this one to the wire.

Fairway Jay is a recognized leader and one of the sports industries insightful point spread prognosticators. His top-rated Big Drive CBB selections hit over 55% this season on Read more

Tags: College Basketball Saint Louis Billikens Michigan State Spartans __

NCAA Tournament Betting Notes: Round of 32 action gets underway

03.17.2012     10:09 AM         Printer Friendly
Submitted by blog entry.
Round of 32 action tips off Saturday and we saw some huge upsets in opening round action. With a pair of #15 seeds winning with Norfolk State over Missouri and Lehigh over Duke, there have now been six #15 seeds pull the opening round upset since the NCAA field expanded in 1985. And Friday’s #15 seed shockers had not happened since 2001. Who could forget when some freshman named Steve Nash led #15 seed Santa Clara to the upset over Arizona in 1993?  And how about #13 Ohio completing the big upset trifecta over Michigan yesterday?

Well, history is not profitable for the #15 seeds in the round of 32, as Cinderella #15 is just 1-3 ATS in their next NCAA Tournament game. Note however that Lehigh will play another upset winner with #10 seed Xavier bet up from the -2.5 opening line.

Kentucky and Florida are double-digit favorites in the round of 32, and over the past 10 years, double-digit favorites in this round are a solid 18-8 ATS.

From a totals perspective, the last three years have seen an ‘over’ bias, as the round of 32 over/unders are 31-16-1.  Note that Friday’s totals went 4-12 over/under.

I have two Read more

Tags: College Basketball __

NCAA Tournament Betting Preview: LIU-Brooklyn Blackbirds vs. Michigan State Spartans

03.16.2012     07:44 AM         Printer Friendly
Submitted by blog entry.
LIU Brooklyn vs. Michigan State -19.5 O/U 154
Recommendation: LIU-Brooklyn

The Big Ten’s second best delivered a Fairway forecast winner on these pages Thursday when Ohio State pulled through as a big favorite over Loyola-MD. Now the Big Ten’s best is asked to win big for their betting backers as the Midwest Region’s top seed. Michigan State (27-7) has had a magical season as co-Big Ten champs and conference tournament champions. They are a together team with a star senior leader in Draymond Green inside and a quick, dynamic point guard in Keith Appling. As usual, the Spartans are one of the nation’s top rebounding teams and play superior defense under head coach Tom Izzo. Following a buzzer beater by Ohio State to beat Michigan State in their regular season finale 12 days ago, the Spartans swept through the Big Ten tournament to beat the Buckeyes in the championship game five days ago. That redemption game for all the marbles Read more

Tags: College Basketball LIU-Brooklyn Blackbirds Michigan State Spartans __

NCAA Tournament Betting Preview: Loyola (MD) Greyhounds vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

03.15.2012     07:29 AM         Printer Friendly
Submitted by blog entry.
Loyola Maryland vs. Ohio State -17 O/U 130.5
Recommendation: Ohio State

Let’s tip off our Thursday evening with a blowout winner in NCAA Tournament action.  Loyola Maryland (24-8) went on a 3-0 SU/ATS run to capture the MAAC Tournament title and advance to the Big Dance. The Greyhounds are fairly methodical on offense and don’t have the talent or athletic ability to keep up with the Buckeyes. Ohio State (27-7) can excel in open court and half court sets, and statistically they are solid across the board. OSU tied for the top spot in the Big Ten in field goal shooting (47%) while holding opponents to just 41%. Ohio State is one of the top rebounding teams in the country thanks to super soph Jared Sullinger – a player that Loyola can’t handle in the middle. Sullinger and Deshawn Thomas both shoot over 53%, and with Aaron Craft at the point, their balance and strength can beat anyone. When asked to win by margin, Ohio State Read more

Tags: College Basketball Loyola-Maryland Greyhounds Ohio State Buckeyes __

NIT Free Betting Pick: Akron Zips at Northwestern Wildcats

03.13.2012     02:49 PM         Printer Friendly
Submitted by blog entry.
Akron at Northwestern -6 O/U 142
Recommendation: Northwestern

This has mental letdown written all over it, as both teams had NCAA Tournament dreams dashed in their conference tournaments. But for traveling Akron, the situation is especially poor.  Following a last second loss to Ohio in the MAC title game, the Zips had their zest taken. Despite some solid perimeter personnel and a 7-footer to patrol the paint, Akron is likely to struggle against a rested Wildcats team that can mix and match their Princeton offense and defensive looks. Northwestern can be tough to support as mid-range favorite with their smaller front line and lack of rebounding strength, but with and Northwestern’s  Drew Crawford and star scorer John Shurna leading a Wildcats team that averages nine made 3-pointers per game, and emerging sophomore guard JerShon Cobb’s recent scoring surge, the Wildcats become the preferred play.

Fairway Jay is a recognized Read more

Tags: College Basketball Akron Zips Northwestern Wildcats __


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